Look at most well-known politicians and you’re bound to see some kind of reason behind their entry into politics. They were passionate about bringing change, they felt they could correct the injustice facing their fellow countrymen or they felt they could make a difference.
I say ‘most’ because there are still those politicians out there whose entries into the world of politics are or were fuelled purely by some or other self-serving reason.
We’ve heard about all the intensive work and renovations that venues around the Island have been undergoing since the announcement that the 10th edition of the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) would be coming to Mauritius.
We watched with anticipation when
Krouink was introduced as the lovable mascot.
YUVA is organising a debate forum on “Good Governance” with delegates from Africa, school students, university students, government officials, NGO representatives and personalities from the corporate sector as participants.
In this context, YUVA invites you and officials of your organisation as participants on Wednesday 2 December 2015, from 09:00hr to noon at Le Saint Georges Hotel, 19 St George Street, Port Louis.
Good governance requires a number of mechanisms in order to work efficiently, performance being one of those mechanisms. As a principle, performance is determined as their ability to respond to institutions and processes trying to serve all stakeholders involved. It also goes without saying that in line with performance indicators, effectiveness and efficiency features in among this as performance is hardly anything unless measured as being effective or at least having the ability to measure such factors. When speaking about effectiveness and efficiency in the context of good governance, it enshrines the processes and institutions ability to produce results that meet the needs of society while ensuring that resources are used as best as possible.
Good governance is a complex and at times elusive term widely used in different contexts. Governance does not relate exclusively with government. Instead, governance is “a process whereby societies or organizations make their important decisions, determine whom they involve in the process and how they render account” (Graham, J., B. Amos and T. Plumptre, 2003:1). The concept of governance can be used in different contexts such as the international, national, local, and corporate sphere
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a branch of the United Nations (UN) focused on global development, provides five guiding principles, legitimacy and voice, direction, performance, accountability, and fairness, that allow a better grasp of the term good governance.
Challenges associated with the conceptualization of Good Governance
The conceptualization of the term good governance creates challenges at the operational level as it offers little guidance on concrete actions to be taken. For example, de Vries (2013) points out that behind each of the UNDP’s five dimensions are multiple indicators. This results in over 150 indicators for improving governance, thus further complicating the application of the principles of good governance. Grindle (2007), a critic of the term good governance, argues that governments often lack the resources to adequately apply the concepts of good governance. It is thus difficult to fully achieve the ideals of good governance.
The question then remains what is good governance and how can it effectively be applied?
Good governance in the Mauritian context
Public Sector: The Ministry of Financial Services, Good Governance and Institutional Reforms
The Ministry of Financial Services, Good Governance and Institutional Reforms is a newly created Ministry with the aim to “fight fraud, eradicate corruption, malpractices and irregularities in all aspects of public life to foster development”. This ministry seeks to highlight the need for judicious utilization of funds, transparency, and accountability in the public sector. It also seeks to provide guidance and support for the enforcement of good governance.
Civil Society: Mauritius Council of Social Science (MACOSS)
MACOSS is an umbrella organization for Mauritian NGOs, which has 368 registered NGOs. It seeks to promote social and community development and voluntary actions through non-governmental organizations. In its recent publication, Principles and Guidelines for Good Governance (2015) MACOSS provides guidance to help NGOs apply the abstract term of good governance into practical terms within the Mauritian context. MACOSS describes what good governance looks like within an organization. It gives NGOs concrete steps to ensure the application of good governance such as separation of governance and management, need for high professional and ethical standards, need for financial disclosure, and the importance of internal and external audits.
This house believes that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights in Mauritius are legally complicated and vague.
Although the law is silent on the topic of homosexuality and gender identity itself, sodomy is illegal and banned by the laws of the county. The nation was one of the 66 signatories of support for the UN declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity. Furthermore, although same-sex relationships are not recognised, LGBT people are protected from any kind of discrimination with the constitution guaranteeing the right of individuals to private life.
Laws about same-sex sexual activity
According to the Section 250 of the Mauritius Criminal Code of 1838, “Any person who is guilty of the crime of sodomy […] shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 5 years.”
The age of consent in Mauritius is 16. Article 249 ‘Rape, attempt upon chastity and illegal sexual intercourse’ of the Penal Code: (…) Any person who has sexual intercourse with a female ‘under the age of sixteen (16), even with consent, shall be liable to penal servitude not exceeding ten (10) years.
The Equal Opportunities Act 2008 prohibits employers from discriminating against persons based on their sexual orientation, with “sexual orientation” being defined to mean “homosexuality (including lesbianism), bisexuality or heterosexuality”.
Adoption of children
According to a 2006 report, adoptive parents may be either single or married. LGBT persons are not specifically disqualified.
According to a website of the French government, single and married people are eligible to adopt children. The website does not say whether LGBT people are disqualified.
LGBT rights organisations
In Mauritius, there are several organisations for the LGBT community.
Founded in 2005, Collectif Arc en Ciel (“Rainbow Collective”) is the primary organisation for the LGBT community in Mauritius. The party fights homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Founded in 1996, Pils is a centre for individuals with HIV/AIDS in the country, and also a place for the prevention and education of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Founded in 2014, the Young Queer Alliance is a youth-led organisation mainly for support, empowerment and protect the young LGBTQIA in Mauritius.
Founded in 2011, Association VISA G is an organisation mainly for Transgender people in Mauritius. VISA G is involved in legal support and empowerment of Trans.
Same-sex sexual activity legal
However anal sex is illegal punishable with 5 years imprisonment.
Equal age of consent
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)
Recognition of same-sex couples
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples
Joint adoption by same-sex couples
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military